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THE PRECIOUS MOMENTS OF MY MORTAL LIFE

The living room is on
Then off,
Crackling between death and taxes.
The budgerigar is ominous,
Fat with the swallowed baby.
The radio captures my pulse
And tutors me.

Item: cotton is compulsory
And pink underwear forbidden.
Item: my carbon tax is funding
Earplugs for the sun.
Item: the mosquito has vetoed the stem cell
And the hipbone will soon be downsized.

To me it's blancmange.
I can't make it marmalade.
And, in any case, I don't have a knife.

It's been coming at me for some time:
The realization:
The options have vanished.
In their place,
Stale donuts
Creviced in the bruised blue appointments,
Jammed in the circular wounds.

It's not new news.
I've known
Ever since the eyeball vultured.
When the walnut fractured, I knew
I was no longer immortal.

It happened, happens, goes on happening:
It's not new news
But it's escalating.
Life's cookie crumble
Is under attack.
The precious moments of stability
Cannot sustain their O-rings.

The milk creams into my coffee
And the radiation meter swings
Dizzy with the impetus of scaffolds.
The ricebubbles short circuit.
My fractured teeth
Are eating electricity.
My lips sample the tomato
And the vacuum cleaner
Leaps for my sputum.

And then
The flexibility of statistics
Fatigues into sanity.
My condition
Captures my pulse.
From
Complications of smoke,
From
The froth of possibility,
Desiring potential
Lapses from the aurora:
Fails, and yields
To the mashed potato of certainty.

My footsteps walk to the windswept beach,
And the light of breaking waves
Encases my feet -
And then it's gone.
Beach, gulls, breaking surf.
A vanishing act.

And I'm flat on my back,
Flat
On the white of the white bed
With the needle
Feeding my blood supply,
Inculcating reality.

Author's note: this is a poem about the stability of perceived reality being undermined by the impact of the undeniable realization of mortality. A poem about reality destabilizing, becoming labile, then, eventually, settling into a new pattern.


HALLUCINATIONS

The man with the burning mustache
Is busy faxing my fingernails
.


This poem THE PRECIOUS MOMENTS OF MY MORTAL LIFE was first published together with the accompanying notes when posted online by Hugh Cook on 2005 May 7 Saturday. Poem and accompanying notes Copyright © 2005 Hugh Cook.

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